The Renault 5 Prototype… a welcomed a return

Step back in time into the 70’s with winking headlights and a mischievous look as you feast your eyes on the Renault 5 Prototype which was unveiled in January 2021 . Aiming to reconnect with the past, this model does not just replicate it but demonstrates how Renault has brought a modern approach to this quintessential era of motoring .

Known for its mischievous and cheeky look, the unveiling of the original R5 was warmly welcomed into the motor industry from the year of it’s release in 1972. The adored model was even recreated as a cartoon with pretty eyes on its headlights which featured on “ Les aventures de Supercar”.

Now 100% electric, the Renault 5 Prototype was revealed earlier this year as a brilliant reinterpretation of the original style of the 1972 version. With recognisable attributes from the 1972 version, the new addition has strong resemblance without being too retro.

Exterior designer of the R5, Nicolas Jardin spoke about how the reinterpreted look of the original model was translated in a modern way. "Everything started from the lines, angles and radii of the elements of the front of the original R5. Then, during the sketches, the headlights became completely different in their proportions as well as in their design."

Advances in the industry also played its part when reinventing the iconic look of the R5. Notably the LED matrix technology that allows the integration of movement by programming animations to bring the headlights to life. The car's new logo lights up and triggers an animation that extends into the front grille. Then the headlights come to life as if the car blinks. Impossible to miss this wink!

Despite, on paper, the lack of similarities between the design or technology of the headlights between the new and old model, its look is instantly recognizable. Jardin went on to say “To be a worthy heir to the R5, the car had to become expressive and lively. We have succeeded in this feat with this prototype, a true object of modern design, embodying the Renault.”